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Govt may cancel coal block allocations : report

India TV News Desk 30 Aug 2012, 10:09:33 AM IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi, Aug 30 : The government may cancel the allocation of more than 50 of the 57 coal blocks mentioned in the recent CAG report if it finds that the mining projects have not made much progress, reports Hindustan Times.

The report quoting top sources said, a  decision on this is expected in the next few days.
The blocks likely to be de-allocated have about 7 billion tonne of extractable coal. Some of these blocks are likely to be handed out to state-owned Coal India Ltd.
The report quoting sources said the progress of projects of as many as 17 companies have so far been found to be inadequate.
Meanwhile, the  government is likely to kick-off the auction process of coal blocks next year after credit rating firm Crisil submits its report on the methodology.
Moreover,  as a counter-punch, the  mining rights of many captive coal blocks handed out to private companies during the BJP-led NDA rule between 1999 and 2004 might be cancelled.
An inter-ministerial group (IMG), which is slated to meet in the next few days, will recommend a set of measures, including the likely cancellation of mining leases to companies that have not begun even the basic work, such as land acquisition or forest clearance.
Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, hinting that the cancellation of mining rights of captive coal blocks was under consideration, said, “We will take all steps that the IMG recommends.”
The move is aimed at halting the persistent attacks on the UPA government after the CAG estimated in a recent report that arbitrary allocation of 57 blocks to 25 private companies might have robbed the exchequer of a Rs 1.86- lakh-crore potential earning.